Public health orders nursing home where 14 residents have died to improve COVID-19 protections

Thirty-six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Hamilton Friday as public health announced another resident at Willowgrove Long Term Care who had the virus has died.

36 new cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton Friday as city reports its 73rd death

A COVID-19 outbreak at Willowgrove Long Term Care Residence has infected 69 people, according to Hamilton public health. (GoogleMaps)

Public health officials have ordered an Ancaster nursing home to improve COVID-19 protections amid an outbreak where dozens have become infected and 14 people with the virus have died.

The most recent resident death linked to the outbreak at Chartwell Willowgrove Long Term Care Residence was a woman in her early 90s who died on Nov. 19. 

Health officials have been in daily contact with the home since the outbreak began, but "small breaks" around PPE use and screening meant the virus continued to spread, according to Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's medical officer of health.

Public health says 69 people at Willowgrove, including 43 residents, 24 staff members and two visitors have tested positive.

"Unfortunately we're just not getting the absolute full compliance that we absolutely need," said Richardson during a media update Friday.

The order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act was issued Tuesday.

"I want to emphasize these were not major concerns that were observed," said Richardson. "But they were happening form time to time and unfortunately we continued to see transmission within Chartwell."

A spokesperson for Chartwell said the directive from public health "aligns with our own action plans" for enhanced screening, heightened monitoring of residents for COVID-19 symptoms as well as a stable PPE supply and training.

The home was "encouraged" to report that 25 resident and 22 staff member cases are resolved, wrote Sharon Ranalli in an email statement Friday. Seven resident and two staff cases are still active, she said.

"Overcoming the COVID-19 outbreak at Chartwell Willowgrove remains our highest priority and we will continue doing everything possible to protect and support our residents working collaboratively with our health care and government partners," said Ranalli.

While Willowgrove is the largest of the sixteen outbreaks ongoing in the city, other long-term care and retirement homes have also seen double-digit case numbers.

Thirty-nine cases have been recorded at Hamilton Continuing Care, 38 at St. Joseph's Villa and 31 at Baywoods Place.

"These long-term care home outbreaks are one of the areas where we're most concerned," said Richardson.

36 new cases, 73 deaths

Thirty-six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Hamilton Friday.

Seventy-three people in the city who were infected with COVID-19 have died during the pandemic.

Hamilton has seen 2,589 cases (both confirmed and probable) so far. Of those, 331 were active Friday and 2,180 were recovered.

Statistics shared on the city's website are based on data provided to public health the previous afternoon.

They show 195 people with COVID-19 have been hospitalized.

Blue markings on the sidewalk along Hamilton's downtown library and food market promote physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are 36 active cases of the virus in the city Friday. (Bobby Hriistova/CBC)

More police employees test positive

Hamilton police say two more people who work for the service have tested positive for COVID-19.

An officer who works at the Mountain Station and a civilian worker at the Central Station both have the virus, according to police.

Both employees were last at work on Nov. 16. The service says all areas where they worked have undergone a deep cleaning and contact tracing is taking place while they recover.

The civilian worker is the third employee at the Central Station to become infected.

Police previously said a civilian who worked on Nov. 13 had tested positive and another who was last in the station on Nov. 4 had the virus and are recovering.

Public health says staff are working with the police to evaluate the situation whether it meets the criteria for an outbreak.

Haldimand Norfolk

Haldimand-Norfolk has recorded 604 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.

Statistics from public health show 42 people have tested positive in the past two weeks.

There are 37 active cases in the counties Friday, while 530 cases are resolved.

Thirty-two deaths are considered COVID-related.


Niagara has tallied 1,929 cases so far, including 1,665 that are resolved and 183 that were still active Friday.

Eighteen outbreaks in the region are ongoing.

Eighty-one people with the virus have died. 

Six Nations

There was one active case of COVID-19 on Six Nations of the Grand River territory Thursday.

Ninety-five cases have been counted there and one person has died.


Fifty-seven more cases were found in Halton Friday, for a total of 3,188 over the course of the pandemic.

Of those, 586 are active and 2,554 resolved. Forty-eight people have died.

Looking at Burlington specifically, 16 more cases were added Friday for a total of 799.

Sixteen people have died, while 670 cases are resolved and 113 are active.


Twelve new cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday for a total of 409 confirmed cases.

Sixty-one are active and 343 resolved.

Five people with the virus have died. Two people are in hospital.


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